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don_narayan 09-13-2006 05:58 PM

Leica M8 Digital SLR
A new Leica is about to be released... 10mp digital SLR M8... not just a digital back, either.

Luko 09-13-2006 06:34 PM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
yeah... mmh... in itself, this was quite expected as Epson already launched their 2 versions of the RD digital viewfinder camera a while ago.

What, I think, will be more critical, is how they plan to reconcile a new lens range with their sensor. It's no secret that the summicron and other summilux optic patterns were not digital friendly (due to the angle of the light beams)... I don't think the M users will be very happy if Leica annouces that their costly lenses are useless anymore.

Darren 09-13-2006 06:38 PM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
I have read that the R series digital back is very good with the Leica R series lenses, due to the use of microlenses on the sensor, as well as perhaps an actual curvature to the sensor. If this is the case, perhaps it will extend over to the M series?

I didn't know Epson had two versions of the rangefinder. I do know it was well reviewed but quite highly priced considering it was the same sensor as was in many sub $1000usd DSLRs.

Luko 09-13-2006 06:50 PM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
I didn't know Epson had two versions of the rangefinder.
RD-1 and RD-1s (newer version - spring 06).

I suppose you've noticed the diameter difference between a SLR lens and a M lens. I guess technology should be quite different.

BobTrips 09-13-2006 08:08 PM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
The M8 will be a rangefinder, not a dSLR.

I seem to recall that it will have a 1.3x crop factor.

maciekda 09-13-2006 11:06 PM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
<a href=""></a> - there is some info and a video showing the M8.

Luko 09-13-2006 11:52 PM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
Totally out of the scope but have you tried this <a href="" target="_blank">game?</a> It was included in the blog you linked to, Maciek.

A pity it's in french only.
I haven't even passed the 4th level.

Darren 09-14-2006 08:32 AM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
Yes, I realize that the lenses are completely different mounts, I was just hypothesizing that they could use a similar technology or slight modification of the Kodak sensor from the R Series digital.

Would also be interesting and probably a little beneficial in that it is a 1.3x crop sensor. With the Leica name on it, it won't come cheap though.

Darren 09-14-2006 08:35 AM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
Could well be the same Kodak sensor that is in the R series back then. That has some good reviews.

stiginthedump 09-14-2006 12:08 PM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
I seem to remember reading a couple of weeks ago that you can get your leica lenses 'modified' at customer service for a small charge (maybe $100) so they'll work on the M8.

Donwside to this new release is the price - $5000...

nerve 09-14-2006 06:52 PM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
nope, all M leica lenses since 1954 will be compatible afaik..but they will some
some more information is here:

and also here:

maciekda 09-15-2006 01:58 AM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
ok, the M8 has been announced. a detailed preview is available there: <a href=""></a>.
it costs just 3000 pounds here in the UK. who will be the first M8 shooter on TE?

Luko 09-15-2006 02:15 AM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
Maybe I'll wait for the M9, the M12 or the M23...

Rather than lurking at other cameras, Maciek, why don't you use that fine M6 which has been sitting on your shelf for about three months now? So you could practise archery meanwhile instead of mimicking Webb...

mlopes 09-15-2006 03:34 AM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
you have one M6 on your shelf gathering dust?
c'mon man... start shooting with that :)))

maciekda 09-15-2006 01:08 PM

I will not buy the M8 either, too expensive, Kodak sensor, 1.33 crop, the digital M should mature before I buy it..
about my M6. yes, I got it, M6 TTL with a 50mm summicron. I also bought a 35mm summicron on ebay, but its condition was terrible, not as described, scratched and full of dust inside, I sent it back last week and waiting for money refund. I think I will stick to the 50mm lens for a while, at the begining it was too narrow for me, but recently I have been using 50mm lens on my 5D and I muust admit I like it very much - it teaches you some discipline with composition.
and about shooting with the M6. I am trying to be consistent with my images, don't switch cameras. all my photos from Cardiff are digital and in colour, let it be like that. I will use the Leica for some new work when I have an idea about a project. I did shoot 1 roll of cheap colour agfa film just to try the camera and I must say that all photos were well exposed, it was quite fun to adjust the thime and aperture manually, just once or twice I forgot to focus - my autofocus habits ;)
and I don't mimick alex webb, his photos are very inspiring but that's it. I don't mimick anyody, I get inspiration from many photographers, but I try to do my stuff

Luko 09-15-2006 01:45 PM

Re: m6
I will use the Leica for some new work when I have an idea about a project.

Just a bit of an advice FWIW : before you start right into getting a project using an M, you should accustom yourself with the rangefinder and the camera. One's need 2-3 months to understand what makes a camera different from the other one, if you think it's only a lens problem... it means there are things you have not seen yet.

in the meantime the images produced may not be as good as expected.

Another advice is that you stick to one lens... 35 and 50mm are much too close. IMO, you believe too much in technique, Maciek, photo is not an engine. It's not the lens that'll do the photo, it's you, hence dominate the rangefinder and one lens first until you can express yourself with that lens. See what happens afterwards.

maciekda 09-15-2006 02:02 PM

Re: m6
One's need 2-3 months to understand what makes a camera different from the other one, if you think it's only a lens problem... it means there are things you have not seen yet.

hm, not sure, a camera is just a tool, at least for me. with a leica all you have to do is to set the shutter speed and the aperture to get a correct exposure, focus and click, then rewind. it is just a slower process than with an autofocus digital camera.
and I am not sure I would take different pictures with a leica than with digital canons, the street photos from the only roll I shot were very similar in terms of composition to my digital photos, and there was nothing making them more special just because they were taken with a leica.
i don't know, maybe I will change my opinion later. but I must admit there is something special when you hold the leica and you take pictures with it

oochappan 09-15-2006 02:43 PM

Re: m6
a camera is just a tool

That was told to me too, not the tool that counts, the photo does when it conveys something outrising techniques ... techniques is only a plaything and who doesn't like to play with new toys ?


anything that encounters you in a impressive way will involve some mimicking in your approach it could be Magnum, Bresson, Webb .... the environment that you chose will have an impact on you and you will reflect it, that's a tool too in the process of creativity, enlarge your environment, enlarge your creativity.

Luko 09-15-2006 05:09 PM

Re: m6
"a camera is just a tool, at least for me. with a leica all you have to do is to set the shutter speed and the aperture to get a correct exposure, focus and click, then rewind. it is just a slower process than with an autofocus digital camera.

...the street photos from the only roll I shot were very similar in terms of composition to my digital photos, and there was nothing making them more special just because they were taken with a leica."

Funny to hear you about the uselessness of "tools" from a guy who introduces himself as a camera and lens list.
There are tools and tools. Some toys roll and some toys rock. Why don't you use the basic 18-55 lens on your camera? Why did you need to go for the 5D?

A paintbrush and a paint spray can are doing the same jobs on the same media : painting, although you hold use them differently. Paint spray goes quicker and better for large surfaces, paintbrushes are more useful for precise work.

So that's what you think... after 1 roll... Here's my opinion after 7 years of using a rangefinder camera and some more years of SLR (or dSLR) cameras.
The Leica/rangefinder thing is about pushing it to the extremes : extreme darkness, extreme open aperture, extreme stealth, extreme anticipation and extreme composition.

Things that a SLR do not manage very well compared to a rangefinder camera :

- the AF, there are situations where the AF simply cannot focus. When I was shooting at dark on Hoi An river, I had to switch to manual AF with my 5D and I couldn't find the focus with f/4 lens. I wish I had color film with my M6, I would have had no focusing problems with cristal clear viewfinder.

- stealth : there's still a world between a bulky 5D, its shutter noise, and the click of a light M6. You're stealthier than ever.

- Anticipation and framing : remember the SLR only shows 93% of the image (that's why I find stupid the assertions of SLR photogs who claim they don't like to crop their image.. crop what? things they didn't see?). A M6 helps you anticipate the moves with a 120% to 200% viewfinder, you can witness the image building into your frame, completely different story, it beefs up your compo. You're thinking real time CROPPING (and understand better about the no crop/full frame : because the M photographer already applies a crop from the viewfinder, except that it is during the shooting. You must imagine the viewfinder like a clear monitor on which you chose your crop instantly)

- Clear viewfinder : when you look inside a dSLR viewfinder, 70% of what you see is just bokeh, hence how can you control what is going on on all planes? a rangefinder is like 3D, it will permit you to go deeper into the image composition. it's like going from 2D to 3D.

"I am not sure I would take different pictures with a leica than with digital canons.
and there was nothing making them more special just because they were taken with a leica."

I agree that if you shoot the same photos like you'd shoot them with a dSLR, then it's better that you stay with the dSLR. It's like trying to brush large surface of painting with a small brush... you won't shoot 20.000 shots per year with a M6.

If you stay within your comfort zone, then it's better you only use the 5D, because you shoot like you're using a 5D, just that the M6 would do it "slower"... as you say. (In this case, I don't even understand why you bought a rangefinder camera. Why not spend your money on your next trip?)

What I am saying is that if you want to get the benefits of a M, there's a learning curve and that it's useless using a rangefinder camera if you want to achieve exactly the same sort of photo and compositions that you're doing now.

And that learning curve takes a little time, just to see where the limits are... not in only one roll.

PS : For the french people, there's an interesting article on the pros and cons of the M rangefinder cameras in this month "Réponses Photo"... (and why you're shooting differently with it.).

maciekda 09-15-2006 05:43 PM

Re: m6
so I managed to provoke to you and get some great reading for TE members ;))
I must say that I agree with what you are saying, I understand what a Leica rangefinder is, I have spent a lot of time reading about it before getting it. I always wanted to have one and when I saw on eBay an auction for a reasonably priced near mint M6 ending in a few minutes I bought it without much thinking... it is like buying yourself a toy you always wanted to have.
and I bought it to shoot different photos than with my digital camera and that's why I don't use it at the moment, I might start a new project and do it with m6, but at the moment I don't have ideas what to do. I will countinue my current work with digital, I don't want to switch cameras, I want to have coherent set of images.

but since now I have this ultimate tool for B&W street photography I might shoot a few rolls of tri-x just for fun and to learn and understand this camera

mlopes 09-15-2006 06:03 PM

Re: m6
And the rest of us just need to sit, relax, and cheer up this great conversation. Please keep on going Sirs... i will just get some coke and popcorns...

now serious, this is priceless information and TE at it's best.

as for me... thank you!

flydragon 09-15-2006 07:13 PM

Re: m6
hmm leica M6, canon5D , Nikon d200 all are just tools yes good tools
but the beter tool we can have is our eyes.
and for the technologie, if that halp me to work faster and in more confortable way thx

in my opinion Leica is very late in digital process
welcome to the M8, i hope its not to late
and i wait also to see the Price

about the R8 mmm no comment

thx God you gave me the canon 5D

ALSOM 09-15-2006 08:07 PM

Re: m6

Are you trying to figure out how long you have to wait to get a Leica?
I did a calculation for you: 8.33 years considering 50 bucks / months ;o).

Ooops sorry I messed up 2 different topics ;o))

mlopes 09-15-2006 08:24 PM

Re: m6
eheheh don't give me ideas Jean :P
i wouldn't mind to have one eheheh but i will stick to my AE1 for a while i think :P

kinginexile 09-15-2006 09:34 PM

Re: m6
I don't know who said that mastery of technique is achieved when you can't see it anymore. Maybe it's me after all...;-)

Listen guys, my only grip with Maciej is that his business card does not say singly "freelance photo-journalist" yet, but, and I know you are all good friends, we can judge him by his results, and not nitpick his words. This "it's the photographer, not the equipment" is getting a bit old and trite. And if someone does not need that lecture, it's Maciej. He is a photographer, period, with a freakin' day job. That's his problem! :-)

kinginexile 09-15-2006 09:43 PM

Re: m6
Folowing this thread, I checked some threads about the M8 in other forums, and I remember seeing 5000 pounds, around 6500$.

It's making shutter noise too. Isn't it where Leica was coming in handy for street photography?

PS: My friend Tom, yes Alimo, has told me you pay a lot for the name when you buy a Leica.

maciekda 09-15-2006 10:03 PM

m8 price
it will cost 3000 pounds here in the UK

AdrianW 09-16-2006 10:33 PM

First review
Here's a review of the <a href="">M8 vs EOS 5D</a>. Interesting. I wonder whether using the 100mm Macro would have made any difference? I know mine is noticeably sharper than my 24-105...

High ISO noise levels don't look good on the Leica though unfortunately. Also wonder whether it should have had an articulated screen to make waist level shooting my WYSIWYG ;)

I'm also curious about what software was used to convert the images - as the 5D wall shot looks fractionally oversharpened. Anyway, carry on!

nerve 10-04-2006 10:55 AM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
a technical point (out of curiosity):

if there is a 1.3 crop factor on new M8, can we apply (the focusing) the Hyperfocal distances in the same way on a lens as it was written, or does it make a difference? (i mean- 24 Elmarit becomes 31 mm. for instance, so will hyperfocal marks on the lens be used in the same way?.. never thought of this before so just wondered..

Furachan 10-04-2006 12:15 PM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
Well if you keep shooting in near darkness in that Moti-Bahgh hangout of yours, my dear Evren, who the hell cares about hyperfocal distance? You'll be, as usual flying by the seat of your pants hoping the lens doesn't let you down wide open? Now am I right or what ;o)))?

Luko 10-04-2006 12:47 PM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
the Hyperfocal distances in the same way on a lens as it was written, or does it make a difference?

I would say it does not (make a difference)... though I haven't sought for mathematical evidence of that...

Hyperfocal distance is correlated with once you state that DOF remains similar, hyperfocal shouldn't change.

At first thought, you remember that the sensors crop factor increases DOF, on the other hand the longer the lens, the less DOF you get. What these are only symptoms, not the explanation.

I would suspect that the DOF decrease due to a longer lens equivalent (31 instead of 24) should be neutralized by the DOF increase due to smaller sensor. In fact both are the same..And what I'm saying is redundant, it just tends to prove that the digital crop factor is simply a zoom on a virtual full frame.. hence why the Hyperfocal would change?

Of course, like I said, don't trust me when it comes to optical calculatio... this was just my two cents.


nerve 10-04-2006 01:22 PM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
yes, neutralization is very logical conclusion i guess..
Thanks Luko! gave me the idea now.. :)

nerve 10-04-2006 01:31 PM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
sure you are right, but this is not a question for a night time quiz, ;o))!

(a leica lense wide open never puts you down Emile btw, -more or less! :) people dont take loans from the banks for vignetting and flare thank you very much, LOL!)


Furachan 10-04-2006 03:12 PM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
Oh...I don't know about THAT! have you ever tried?;o)

nerve 10-04-2006 03:22 PM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
nope, but maybe i will have to! ;o)

AdrianW 10-31-2006 11:54 PM

Re: Leica M8 Digital SLR
Michael Reichmann seems to like it, here's his <a href="">M8 review @ luminous-landscape</a> for those who haven't seen it yet.

Furachan 11-01-2006 01:47 AM

Re: m6
Yes, and Luko, Maciej, I think there is also a different "look" to Leica M shots - perhasp not as claustrophbically composed as with an SLR but more precise in terms of the "moment" captured, not tomention the bloody luminosity of both BW neagtives and color chromes.
We only have to look at Arnau's MP shots from Vietnam as well as Luko's two recent upload (this entry dates Novemebr 1) to se exactly what I mean. Moe than grain, more than just "bokeh", it's a combination, a cacophony of graphical elements that make up that "look". Oh and yu see it in Animes's output too, of curse.

kinginexile 11-01-2006 06:14 AM

Re: m6
can you explain, Francis, or anyone where the camera is layering its cacophony on top of Luko's compositional choices? Understanding of course, that Luko has not done any digital editing (save scanning) from the B&W bath processing, so as to keep the M effect pure. Is it a result of how the light and shadows respond to each other within the same emulsion? If this was a shot from a DSLR, what would the differences at the outcome, that could never be made up, thru PS editing, and will instantly say: Leica M. On that very shot, I mean. wouldn't we have to see a print directly from the negative to really get the specific trademark results of those cameras?


Luko 11-01-2006 03:12 PM

Re: m6

I dont think the "cacophony" francis is talking about, and as I understand it, is a result of film difference. Rangefinders cameras, like the Leica M, make it more possible because of its 200% viewfinder, while a SLR provides a usual 93% view (% of the picture you'll get by clicking : the figures mean that in a slr viewfinder you see less than what you get, hence there'll be a hand poking in you've not seen at the moment you click, whereas you see in a rangefinder the surrounidngs of your frame, you're then sure of what is into your frame and WHAT WILL BE if you wait for a 1/10th sec more.).

Therefore the rangefinder camera is a tool that allows more complicated composition than a SLR. Some photogs, like Maciek, who inspires from rangefinder photogs (like Webb) can get as complicated composition but I guess they must sweat some tears and blood before they get it spot on.

On the lens quality, there is really something about Leitz lenses. On a benchmark, Canon lenses are sharper, but Leitz lenses have a special edge that is very difficult to define until you've seen a Leica print. I mean Canon is absolutely tack sharp, while Leitz is reasonnably sharp ALL OVER, specially on the edges and with great middle range transition, i's like a diffence between 8bits and 16bits. It seems from Michael Reichmann luminous landscape review of the M8 that the digital Leica can still retain that special twist of the Leitz lenses (you should red it to get some explanation about the Leica feel.

Also, Leitz lenses are very good in finding details in dark areas, while Nikon or Canon gives you back a solid black. I'd believe the way they are built and the rare minerals they're built from increase the exposure array that can be packed into a photo.


kinginexile 11-01-2006 08:01 PM

Re: m6
thanks, Luko. This would bring another question. This means that you never crop your leica shots, having decided excatly at the time of shooting what will be in and out, and is it something you would more likely do with your DSLR. The M8, will it be the 200% WF?

And in terms of having used a non-Lieca DSLR, what would be the adjustments one would need to make, and features one would have to do without, if going M8?


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